Early on Wednesday morning, a man asked the clerk in a 24-hour mini-mart in Sunset Park if he could pay for his items later. The clerk refused to give him store credit, so obviously the man had no choice but to come back and set the building on fire. Now police have released surveillance video of the suspect waiting outside the shop on Fort Hamilton Parkway and hurling a Molotov cocktail through an open door. The business was engulfed in flames and the clerk's jacket and hair caught on fire, but thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries. Police described the suspect as a Hispanic man, 30-40 years old, 5'8" to 5'10", wearing sunglasses and a dark hooded sweatshirt.
As you may have noticed, the New York magazine website — including Intelligencer, The Cut, Grub Street, and Vulture — was inaccessible for most of Wednesday afternoon. (Think about how much you missed us, and then multiple that by the number of books Thomas Piketty has sold this week and that's how much we missed you.)
In the course of some routine maintenance, we inadvertently made a change to our DNS settings, temporarily causing the internet to forget the IP address of our servers. We realized the mistake almost immediately and quickly changed things back, but it took a while for the internet's address directory to update with the correct information. Things should be getting back to normal now, although there may be a few more bumps throughout the evening. The sun will come out tomorrow.
Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson, whose successful campaign against Charles Hynes included a pledge to stop prosecuting low-level marijuana arrests, seems to be following through: According to a policy proposal sent to NYPD chief Bill Bratton (and leaked to a couple newspapers), Thompson's office will move to "immediately dismiss" charges against people caught with small amounts of pot, as long as they have non-existent or minimal criminal records. Additionally, the police "will be directed to destroy the defendant’s fingerprints."
Yesterday, I wrote about Aereo's Supreme Court case against broadcast TV networks, the results of which will either affirm the start-up's right to live or squash it out of existence. I did so by comparing Aereo's TV-over-the-internet business model to an imaginary start-up called Readeo that sent robots to the newsstand to read issues of New York Magazine to you, thus avoiding paying the cover price. Several smart people quickly objected — noting that a magazine that charges for its content is very different from a network that provides its content for free over public airwaves.
Point taken: It was a dumb analogy. (Also: There are easier, non-robot-assisted ways to read our stories for free.) While I won't defend my earlier effort, I take some small comfort in the observation that the world is awash in bad Aereo analogies, some written by people who are paid to think about copyright law all day.
Sixty-three-year-old Mark Shand, a travel writer, conservationist, and brother-in-law to Prince Charles, suffered a fatal head injury after a Tuesday night that included stops at a Sotheby's charity auction and an after-party at the Paramount Hotel's Diamond Horseshoe. According to the Post, Shand and some friends moved on to a bar, and he fell as he was leaving. Clarance House confirmed the news, saying that, "The Duchess, The Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss."
The NYPD has arrested five Hasidic men in connection with the beating of a gay black man in Williamsburg last December. The attack, which was initially investigated as a hate crime, took place on Flushing Avenue at around 5 a.m., when 23-year-old Taj Patterson was walking around after a night out. Patterson says he found himself surrounded by over a dozen men, some of whom were members of the Shomrim, a neighborhood patrol made up of Hasidic volunteers. The group claims to have been investigating reports that Patterson was seen vandalizing cars, which turned out to be untrue. But, when Patterson tried to get away from them, they restrained, kicked, and punched him while shouting anti-gay slurs, including "stay down, f----t."
Anna Kovarick, 38, has been charged with dealing hard drugs while she's not ferrying Catholic school kids back and forth across West Islip. A 15-year veteran of Acme Bus Company, Kovarick is not accused of driving while high on heroin, just selling during school hours, after which she'd allegedly drop the children off at home and then "go out again and sell more heroin," according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. Kovarick allegedly sold up to 500 baggies every few days. No one can say she doesn't work hard.
"This pizza magnate and 2012 presidential candidate was a math major at historically black Morehouse College," said a $1,200 question on Jeopardy! last night. You know... 9-9-9? "We need a leader, not a reader"? Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan? "I got all this stuff twirling around in my head"? History of sexual harassment?
On Tuesday, whoever is in charge of the @NYPDnews Twitter account invented #myNYPD, a hashtag for people to post feel-good photos of themselves interacting with cops. As you may have noticed, the effort backfired on the department, with Twitter users mostly deciding to share images and stories of police brutality and other misconduct. (At one point, over 10,000 people per hour were posting under #MyNYPD, which eventually overtook #HappyEarthDay as a trending topic.) While many might argue that anyone paid to hang out on social media should have seen this coming, "sources" felt compelled to tell the New York Daily News that no one will be disciplined over the fiasco.